Meet the CGI's council members
The writer is pastor of the Church of God International congregation in Prestonsburg, Ky. Mr. Bumgardner and his wife, Kitty, receive E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Orville Bumgardner
JENKINS, Ky.--It has been a pleasure to get to know the council of elders of the Church of God International. These eight men and their wives have spent many years providing unselfish service to others.
I cannot help but be a little amused by the many articles I have seen in the past few years by people who have just discovered that God has not always worked through one man. I am amused because they give the impression they are the first to discover it.
I remember hearing people belittle the very men on the ministerial council of the Church of God International who rejected the primacy-of-Peter doctrine and began working with a team concept.
I don't see people acknowledging that the CGI was right about this. Would it be too much to expect people (including leaders) to admit they were not the first to know or practice this truth?
That said, following is a brief introduction to the eight council members of the CGI, whose office is south of Tyler, Texas. I'm writing this to recognize council members who have served for many years.
Loren Chamberlain of Carmel, Calif., a longtime council member, has been married to the former Patricia Rogers since 1952. They have three grown children.
Mr. Chamberlain was baptized in 1965. He was ordained as a minister in the Worldwide Church of God in 1976.
In 1979 Mr. Chamberlain left the WCG because of misuse of finances he says he knew about. He says his reason for leaving was more of an administrative problem than doctrinal.
Mr. Chamberlain works in sales, with his entire pay coming from commissions for sales made. This gives him the freedom to take off from work to serve whenever and wherever he can be of help.
His own income suffers because of lost sales when he takes time off to do the work of a minister.
Mr. Chamberlain's main goal in life is to remain faithful to God until he is in God's Kingdom.
Restoration and Y2K
Ben Chapman of Provo, Utah, has been married to the former Lois Lee Armstrong since 1961. They have four grown children.
Mr. Chapman was baptized in 1957. He was ordained as a minister in the Radio Church of God in 1963.
He has been with the Church of God International since it was founded, in 1978. He was a member of the ministerial council for the first three years of its existence.
After a 15-year hiatus, he became a member of the ministerial council again in 1996.
Mr. Chapman is an engineer and specialist in computer technology. He does contract work for various corporations. He is presently working to help solve the Y2K problem. He told me he is trying to limit his contract work to 32 hours a week so he can have more time to devote to his ministry to others.
He, too, sacrifices income to better carry out his ministry.
Mr. Chapman says 1998 was a year of restoration, and 1999 will be a year of advancement, in the Church of God International.
His goals include making cassette tapes of some of the booklets and literature of the church for the blind and others who can be best served by that medium.
He also plans to make video programs based on a harmony of the Gospels. He is building a studio in his home for this purpose.
Making a contribution
Charles Groce of the Tyler, Texas, area has been married to the former Elizabeth "Betsy" Railsback since 1992. She has three children, and he has two.
Mr. Groce was baptized March 31, 1968. He was ordained as a minister in the Worldwide Church of God in 1972.
He resigned his position as a full-time salaried minister in the WCG in 1983. His primary reason for leaving the WCG was the change made a few years earlier regarding the primacy-of-Peter doctrine. Ministers of the WCG were being pressured to teach that God has always worked through one man and that WCG founder Herbert W. Armstrong was that one man for this age. Mr. Groce gave up his source of income rather than go against his conscience.
Mr. Groce began attending the CGI in 1983. Three years later he was employed by the CGI and became a council member the same year.
Mr. Groce says his main goal is to "make a contribution to the preaching of the gospel as approved by Jesus Christ and to set a good personal example."
Teacher of the Word
Bronson James, who lives in the Tyler area, has been married to the former Myra Jennings since May 1970. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.
Mr. James was baptized in June 1966. He was ordained a minister in the Worldwide Church of God in 1977. He has been a member of the CGI and its ministerial council since 1979.
Mr. James has a beautiful voice and tremendous talent. Many people who have heard him sing believe that if his main interest were gaining wealth for himself he could pursue a career in music.
Mr. James said he became associated with the CGI to support a ministry to the world and to be an active elder to help build up the church. His main goal is to be a teacher of the Word, to make it understandable and to show its practicality and to be a vessel for God's Spirit.
True to God's plan
Ken Register of Springfield, Mo., has been married to the former Betty West since August 25, 1946. They have two grown children.
Mr. Register was baptized in 1952 and ordained as a minister in the CGI in 1984.
His reason for leaving the WCG was administrative problems that involved the treatment of employees and members and the way finances were used.
He has been associated with the CGI since 1979 and a member of the ministerial council since December 1995.
Mr. Register is retired and contributes a considerable amount of time to the service of God's people.
He told me that his main goal in life is to remain true to God's Word and plan for mankind.
One of the firstfruits
Charles "Bob" Tackett of Salt Lick, Ky., has been married to the former Geneva May since Feb. 22, 1964. Between them they have four grown children, two granddaughters and one great-grandson.
Mr. Tackett was baptized in 1965. He was ordained as a minister in the WCG in 1975.
His says his reason for leaving the WCG was administrative problems he was personally familiar with that involved the abuse of church members.
He has been a member of the CGI since 1983 and a member of the ministerial council since December 1995.
Mr. Tackett is retired and lives to serve people who want to obey God. His goal in life is to become one who will be counted worthy to become one of the firstfruits in God's Kingdom.
The work of pastoring
James Throgmorton of Pocahontas, Ark., has been married to the former Cindy Funchess since March 24, 1974. They have two children, both living at home. Mandi is a 19-year-old who attends Arkansas State University, and Elise is a 17-year-old who attends Pocahontas High School. The Throgmortons had two other children, Jamie and Aaron, who were killed in an automobile accident in 1992.
Mr. Throgmorton was baptized Oct. 23, 1969, and ordained as a minister in the CGI in 1981.
He left the WCG because of administrative problems regarding finances and the primacy-of-Peter doctrine. He has been a member of the CGI since its beginning, in 1978. He has served as a member of the ministerial council since 1986.
The Throgmortons operate a photography studio. Mr. Throgmorton told me his wife does 90 percent of the work so he can devote most of his time to doing the work of pastoring several congregations.
Mr. Throgmorton has traveled extensively in his effort to promote God's way. He says his main goal is to pastor just one congregation and be there every Sabbath for the people.
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